Sunday, September 12, 2010

My Little Guppies

Yesterday I took the girls for their first swimming lessons.

We began with Felicity's lesson at 9am. I get in the pool with her, so each girl gets her own lesson.

Unfortunately the pool we were supposed to use, the "teaching" pool, was struggling with a chemical imbalance and we had to use the big pool which was significantly cooler. Poor Felicity's teeth were chattering most of the time and she was far from the only one.

But like most of the other kids, she took it well. She loved kicking her legs in the water, singing songs, and blowing bubbles. Floating on her back didn't particularly thrill her but she absolutely loved playing "Humpty Dumpty." She sat on the wall of the pool and we sang "Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall," and then she would fall into the pool and I would catch her. She loved doing it standing so much she didn't want to do anything else. When the lesson was done I had to do it again before she would agree to get out.

Cecilia watched with Grandpa but got a bit impatient for her swimming lesson.

After returning home and having lunch, we went back for Cecilia's 1pm lesson. This time the "learning" pool was available and it was significantly warmer. Cecilia was so excited for her turn but Felicity began to sulk that she couldn't go in the pool. She was happy to watch part of the time though.

Cecilia wasted no time blowing bubbles and kicking her feet. When they asked her to hold onto a dumbell flotation device and kick her way across the pool, I helped steer, but she was a speed demon on that exercise too. Like Felicity though, the "Humpty Dumpty" game seemed to be her favorite. Each time she fell/jumped into the pool she got so excited her whole body was shaking. It was like she was having a seizure of pure excitement and joy. I haven't seen her respond to anything that way in a long while. She was introduced to the Hokey Pokey pool-style and seemed to like Ring Around the Rosey pool-style. She practiced pushing off a step and lunging towards me and kicking. She struggled with the lunge idea and was more jumping but she was enjoying it regardless. Sometimes she would even call, "Teacher! Teacher! I did it!" to the instructor. After kicking her way back across the pool, she was victorious in a pool game of Simon Says (and even got a bit too excited over it yelling to everyone that she "won" - she is fierce when it comes to Simon Says and my dad can have a hard time tricking her into failing at that game.) After a cute version of If Your Happy And You Know It, she reluctantly agreed to get out of the pool as lessons were over.

Overall, our first day of swim lessons went very well. Both girls seemed to really enjoy them and are definitely already beginning to pick up on more comfortability in the water and more techniques for proper swimming. I do think the colder water was a hindrance for Felicity but hopefully next time she will enjoy it even more.

I've been wanting to teach the girls how to swim. I grew up swimming like a fish and used to be on a swim team. For the life of me I could never seem to do the Breast Stroke right but I was pure fish when it came to the Butterfly Stroke, which is still my favorite. Swimming is not only amazing exercise (boy was I tired yesterday afternoon) it is also an important life skill. Knowing how to swim can save your own life as well as the lives of others. I am actually taking notes of what we do in each class for each girl so that if I cannot take any of our kids to lessons in the future, if I can get them to a pool, I'll have notes on how to teach them how to swim.

Obviously there are no pictures as I am in the pool for both girls' lessons and am busy throughout the lessons. Maybe next Spring.

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